Less well-known Christmas sweets

Monday, 05 December 2016.

Less well-known Christmas sweets

There are many traditional Greek sweets, other than melomakarona and kourabiedes, that are just as delicious

Holiday sweets which, according to tradition, were made to satisfy the spirits, and to create a sweet atmosphere of love and affection. Here are some of them!

Pontic Isli: Pontic Greeks brought this recipe with them, along with the special tweezer used to make the characteristic pattern on their surface. They are excellent sweets, similar in taste to melomakarona, with an irresistible walnut filling! 

Kalanta from Asia Minor: Similar, yet different, to pasteli. Small, leaf-shaped caramelized sweets, with syrup and finely ground walnuts, offered to children singing Christmas carols instead of money. This tradition is also found on islands of the northeastern Aegean. 

Chatades from Karpathos: On Karpathos, chatades are served at Christmas. They are filled with roasted almonds and sesame, and sprinkled with icing sugar. 

Mamoulia from Chios: the name is Arabic (ma' amoul), and means "filled pastry". Mamoulia are typical Christmas sweets from Chios. Made with almonds or walnuts, enclosed in a shortcrust pastry. They stay fresh for a long time, when stored in a metal box. 

Mamounia from Limnos: Similar to mamoulia, but they are placed in syrup before sprinkling with icing sugar.

"Psarakia" from Tinos: Fried Christmas sweets, filled with walnut. The name (which means "little fish") is probably because of their shape. Sprinkled with icing sugar. 

Karydata from Evia or karydokourabiedes from Arcadia: chewy sweets, with intense walnut, cinnamon, and clove flavour, covered with icing sugar. Served on happy occasions, especially at Christmas.